Hi, I’m Tom, the creator of Zero to Finals.
I studied Medicine at the University of Manchester and graduated the MbChB program with honours. During my time at the university, I also completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, achieving a First. I did this while playing basketball for the university first team, coaching and captaining the medics basketball team, obtaining my car and full motorcycle licences, working part-time as a support worker, maintaining a wonderful relationship with my now wife and pursuing keen interests in weightlifting, fitness, snowboarding, photography and film making.
The key to balancing all of these things and still excelling academically was my obsession for finding the most efficient and effective way of working. I spend just as much time researching, planning, experimenting and adapting how I work as I do studying. Every exam I have sat since my GCSEs, I have employed new methods and techniques for learning and preparing. Some of these experiments produced poor results, while others helped me excel beyond what I thought I was capable of. During medical school, I was always on the lookout for the perfect resource to help me learn medicine and prepare for my medical exams. I was so frustrated with not being able to find this resource that after I graduated I decided to create it myself. That project became Zero to Finals.
I have always had a passion for teaching. If I had not been a doctor, I would have pursued a career in teaching. Since being at secondary school I have always enthusiastically participated in opportunities for one-to-one peer teaching, mentoring and presenting. During medical school, I was keen to get involved in peer mentoring schemes and hosted multiple revision presentations for other students. It was this fascination with teaching, memory and learning that lead me to intercalate in psychology. After graduating, I took every opportunity to teach during my foundation training and enjoyed going the extra mile to help students and colleagues with their learning.
Since graduating in 2014 I have gained over half a decade of experience working as a doctor, completed the MRCP Part 1, Part 2 and PACES examinations to obtain the MRCP (UK) diploma, completed a three year part-time MSc degree in Medical Education, achieved the Diploma in Child Health from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (DCH) and achieved the DRCOG diploma from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. I also became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and teamed up with my close friend Dr Matthew Kimberley to write a book about succeeding in medical school, called The Medicine Manual. After finishing the UK Foundation Training Programme, I took a year away from training to gain experience as a locum doctor and free up time to build the website and resources I had dreamed of since starting medical school. These resources became Zero to Finals.
I started GP specialist training in August 2017 and completed my training in August 2020. I have had the luxury of rotating through paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology, psychiatry and rheumatology as part of my GP training. I am passionate about general practice, as it offers the perfect opportunity to continue to learn about every speciality, explore every corner of medicine and meet, help and follow up patients dealing with a huge variety of problems. It also gives me the flexibility to pursue other interests, such as teaching and writing books. I would encourage anyone wondering which speciality to choose to consider general practice, particularly if they are ambitious, enjoy a challenge and like learning.